Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, in all his Crazy Wisdom, has left us with many insightful teachings. Though he was working with esoteric Buddhist thought, his experiential understanding of dharma brings it on home to the daily living of daily lives. My life, your life. His teachings make Buddhist thought not “so out there” — this one, from Ocean of Dharma, is incisive, for sure. Yet DEFinitely apt for this contemporary moment.
…….. Faith can be blind or intelligent. Open faith is intelligent, being willing to include one’s confusion & one’s understanding at the same time. Blind faith is ……… thinking in terms of quick results, depending on fame, reputation, & so forth.
We see, in our national conversation, & in world events, this very issue. Blind adherence to an ideology causes the voices to become so loud & so shrill, as each seeks to drown the other. It refuses the possibility of compromise, of evolving thought, of creativity outside its “box”. It brands as “traitor” anyone who steps outside of its bounds. This is true — & oh so evident! — in politics & in religion, especially when they combine, in America, as well as in other parts of the world. And those who strongly promote any one view over another, especially if they make their living from that promotion, want ideological rigor – that is, blind faith — to be an important criterion in the soft & hard sciences, education, the law, & all other human endeavors as well. <<They>>, given their absolutist ways, would shut down all long-term exploration, which would eventually kill off moment-to-moment inquiry too. <<They>> would make rocks of each thought, hurtling them at any that are seen as different.
Now, I have to be very careful when I wade into these waters, for I have a tendency to be a strident proponent of ideas too. This was especially evident when I was a young adult, but it is something I will probably always have to watch. I just think it is easier to Know, than it is to Try to Figure Out. ((In a previous post I mentioned this (3rd paragraph))). And I suspect this is a pretty universal trait. I mean, who WANTS to examine, critically analyze, filter EVERYthing they come into contact with ….. ALL of the time?!? Relying on our mental habits, moving along the same tracks as we always have, is just easier. It is more predictable. And let’s face it: Mentally, most of us are pretty lazy, really.
IF we collectively DID quit this entrenched way of thinking though, & began mindfully examining what we think & believe, I suspect, life would move at a slower, more congenial pace ……. & be a lot quieter ……….. & less mean-spirited. Fewer rocks, maybe more butterflies.
One of the ways I have to be particularly careful, mentally, is I have to keep an eye on my tendency to think/believe that <<conservatives>> are guiltier of this mental rigidity than are liberals. But it isn’t so …………. idealogues come in all parties, are of “all stripes”, so to speak, & move through all facets of human endeavor. And, maybe too, as I’ve noted within my own thinking, one can Know some things, but still be Trying to Figure Out others. This is the REAL problem with ideological pedantry: The human mind & soul is FAR more complex than such inflexible believing would make us out to be; the variables & variations within us truly are infinite! What if we reallyreally payed attention to all of the variations within ourselves?? And reallyreally mindfully attended the myriad variations in each other?!? Then ……THEN, the pace of life would have to move more slowly, less frantically. And, with more silence — because we are giving each other the gift of truly listening to one another — life WOULD be quieter. Butterflies abounding ……………..